Tag Archives: Exclusives

Happy Heavenly Birthday Jam Master Jay! (RIP)

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Hip Hop lost a great DJ over two decades ago, but in celebration of JMJ’s life today, his legacy will forever live on

On this date in 1965 in Brooklyn, New York, Jason Mizell, who later became Jam Master Jay, was born.

Jay was the DJ for the legendary Kings from Hollis, Queens, Run-D.M.C. His musical career took him all over the world and even expanded his talents into Hip Hop filmographies, such as Krush Groove and Tougher Than Leather. JMJ is also responsible for breaking several artists from his Jam Master Jay Records imprint, including Onyx, Chuck D of Public Enemy, and 50 Cent.

On October 30, 2002, Jay was tragically shot and killed by an unknown assailant in a Jamaica, Queens recording studio. To this day, no one has been charged with his murder.

The Source Magazine would like to send a super born day salute to this icon of our culture. He may be physically gone, but his legacy will never be forgotten!

The post Happy Heavenly Birthday Jam Master Jay! (RIP) appeared first on The Source.

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Today In Hip Hop History: RUN-D.M.C. Dropped Their Sophomore LP ‘King Of Rock’ 37 Years Ago

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The “Kings From Queens” dropped their second album 37 years ago today.

On this date in 1985, Joseph Simmons, Daryl McDaniels, and Jason Mizell successfully avoided the sophomore jinx some three decades ago when they released the follow-up to their self-titled debut album with King Of Rock.

Produced by Run’s brother Def Jam founder Russell Simmons, this album was the project that catapulted the crew from rappers to internationally recognized recording artists. King Of Rock is historic in the sense that it was the first Hip Hop album to go platinum and ended up going double platinum. Singles like “King Of Rock” and “Rock It Like This” appeared in the cult classic flick Krush Groove, which is based on the rise of Run-D.M.C., Def Jam Records, co-starring Jay, Darryl, and Joe. Those two tracks and the comical “You Talk Too Much” all reached the Top 20 R&B charts.

Salute to Run, D.M.C., the Mizell family, the Simmons family, Rick Rubin, Larry Smith (RIP), and everyone at Def Jam and Profile who made this album happen!

The post Today In Hip Hop History: RUN-D.M.C. Dropped Their Sophomore LP ‘King Of Rock’ 37 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Happy Birthday To The Roots’ Questlove!

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Happy Born day to Ahmir Khalib Thompson better known as ?uestlove a.k.a Questlove! Born in 1971, he turns a half century today. The OG is originally known as the drummer for the legendary Hip Hop band The Roots, but he has many roles.

On February 17, 2014, he became a part of the in-house band for The Tonight Show, and with The Roots he’s played the same role during the 969-episodes of  Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. 

Let’s not forget about the many artists he has produced such as Jay Z, Common, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, the late Amy Winehouse, John Legend, and old school R&B legend Al Green. The list goes on with all the production teams he has been a part of, including Hip Hop pioneers like The Soulsonics and The Grand Wizards.

The influence of this multi-faceted musician has reached far beyond most in his lifetime thus far, and he’s nearly only half way thru. Happy Birthday Questlove and many more to come!

The post Happy Birthday To The Roots’ Questlove! appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: The Game Dropped His Debut LP ‘The Documentary’ 17 Years Ago

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On this date in 2005, Compton emcee The Game released his debut album The Documentary on Aftermath/G-Unit/Interscope records.

The Game was the first G-Unit representative from outside of NYC to be a part of the then-dominating roster consisting of Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, and its general, 50 Cent. The album was originally called “Nigga Witta Attitude Vol.1,” but Eazy-E’s wife, Tomica Woods-Wright, legally blocked that N.W.A. title reference from being used.

The album received commercial and critical success, reaching gold status in its first week and 2X platinum within the first two months. The singles that received the most acclaim were 50 Cent-assisted, which many felt was the primary reason for the project’s success. “Hate It Or Love It,” “Westside Story” and This Is How We Do” allowed The Game to see the same degree of fame as his Queens boss, but left many critics to wonder if this feat was capable with no guest appearances. The album’s production was a Hip-Hop producers’ Hall of Fame, with the likes of Kanye West. Scott Storch, Just Blaze, Timbaland, and of course Dr. Dre behind the boards. These key elements make The Documentary The Game’s most notable and successful album to date.

Salute to Dre, 50, Em, The Game, the entire G-Unit and everyone involved in one of the most pivotal Hip-Hop projects of the new millennium.

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: The Game Dropped His Debut LP ‘The Documentary’ 17 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: Nas’ Debut Album ‘Illmatic’ Certified Gold By RIAA 26 Years Ago

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On this date in 1996, the Recording Industry Association of America tallied up the sales of Nas’ debut album, Illmatic, granting the album gold status less than two years after it’s highly anticipated release.

By the time of this certification, Esco was already prepped to drop his sophomore LP, It Was Written, which was expected to receive similar accolades like its predecessor and actually received more commercial success than Illmatic.

The all-star production team(Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Premier) coupled with the likes of Nas’ unparalleled lyrical ability would only produce such a timeless piece of Hip Hop history.

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: Nas’ Debut Album ‘Illmatic’ Certified Gold By RIAA 26 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Today In Hip Hop History: Paramount Pictures Released ‘Juice’ In Theaters 30 Years Ago

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On this date in 1992, Paramount Pictures presented the highly anticipated hood flick Juice, which stars a still rising rap star by the name of Tupac Shakur, who plays a crooked crimie from Uptown by the name of “Bishop”.

His co-star, Omar Epps(Higher Learning, In Too Deep), plays a local DJ with industry potential named “GQ”, alongside Jermaine “Huggy” Hopkins(Lean On Me) and Khalil Kain, who all form a loosely knit crew of truants who are headed in the wrong direction.

This movie was very instrumental in bringing Hip Hop artists onto the silver screen, with cameo appearances from Treach of Naughty By Nature, Queen Latifah, EPMD’s DJ Scratch and Special Ed. Juice also helped to introduce the soundtrack as a way to market movies for larger budgets.

For those who never took notice, it wasn’t until after ‘Pac made everyone love to hate his character Bishop that Shakur’s run-ins with the law became more frequent and his “Thug Life” persona became more noticeable and for its own intent, purposeful. Many will say that it was life imitating art. Some will say that this was the real Tupac; he was just being filmed.

The post Today In Hip Hop History: Paramount Pictures Released ‘Juice’ In Theaters 30 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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This Week In Hip Hop History: KRS-1 And The Stop The Violence Movement Released “Self Destruction” 28 Years Ago

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On this very same weekend in 1989, KRS-1, as a apart of the nationwide “Stop The Violence” campaign, dropped the “Self Destruction” song and video to combat the rise in gun violence around the country.

The death of a fan at a BDP/Public Enemy concert in 1988, which followed the murder of Boogie Down Productions DJ/producer and co-creator Scott “Scott La Rock” Sterling in the summer of 1987 were two of the principle catalysts that launched the Stop The Violence initiative. Kris recruited some of the top emcees of the era including Heavy D(RIP), Stetsasonic members Daddy-O, Delite, Wise and Frukwan, Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh, Just-Ice, MC Lyte and Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Flavor Flav. Rounding off the track with BDP’s D-Nice and Ms. Melodie(RIP), “Self Destruction” served as a reminder of the purpose of Hip Hop’s voice in the minds of the youth on both coasts. West Coast artists reflected that positive element with “We’re All In The Same Gang” featuring the “West Coast All Stars”, which included Eazy-E(RIP) and N.W.A., Digital Underground, Tone Loc, Ice-T, MC Hammer and several others. Tone Loc, Young MC and Shock G of Digital Underground(RIP) came to the Harlem video shoot for Self Destruction, which propelled them to create their version soon after.

With production assistance and expertise from the Bomb Squad’s Hank Shocklee and BDP’s D-Nice, KRS formed an All Star team of of his own with some of NYC’s best emcees who were willing to put down a positive preventative message for the hood. One of the stand out issues with the creation of “Self Destruction” was LL Cool J’s involvement in the project. The “B.A.D.” emcee was not allowed to appear on the song due to a restriction from his Def Jam label, but his commitment to the cause made him sit alongside MC Lyte during the recording sessions, helping her co-write her classic verse.

Funky fresh dressed to impress, ready to party
Money in your pocket, dying to move your body
To get inside you paid the whole ten dollars
Scotch taped with a razor blade taped to your collar
Leave the guns and the crack and the knives alone
MC Lyte’s on the microphone
Bum rushing and pushing, snatching and taxing
I cram to understand why brothers don’t be maxing
There’s only one disco, they’ll close one more
You ain’t guarding the door, so what you got a gun for?
Do you rob the rich and give to the poor?
Yo Daddy-O, school em some more

The commercial success was the icing on the cake for the Stop The Violence movement, which was a charity organization that donated all of the proceeds from the song to the National Urban League. With the song topping Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart for ten weeks straight and selling over 500K copies of the single, which qualified the song for certified gold status, that donation was well received by the Urban League.

The post This Week In Hip Hop History: KRS-1 And The Stop The Violence Movement Released “Self Destruction” 28 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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Happy 54th Birthday to Hip Hop Pioneer LL Cool J!

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James Todd Smith, a.k.a. LL Cool J, nickname “Ladies Love Cool James”; born on Long Island, New York, January 14, 1968. LL Cool J signed to pioneer Hip Hop label Def Jam Records in 1984. His career took off with classic hits, included on albums like: Bigger and Deffer, Walking with a Panther, Mama Said Knock You Out, 14 Shots to the Dome, Mr. Smith. LL turned to act, appearing in movies like B.A.P.S., Halloween H2O, and Any Given Sunday.

LL is undoubtedly one of the most tenured artists in the game, having started his career at the age of 15, signing to Def Jam with the hit demo single “I Need A Beat”. Many artists that are considered the greats on the mic have always been compared to Mr. Smith and his consistency to continue to put out hits and remain relevant over a span of four decades.

Happy born day to one of the GOATs of the game and wish him many more hereafter!

The post Happy 54th Birthday to Hip Hop Pioneer LL Cool J! appeared first on The Source.

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Happy 56th Birthday Slick Rick! Five Favorite Storytime Rhymes From Rick The Ruler

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Born Ricky Martin Lloyd Walters on this date in 1965 in London, England, Slick Rick is undoubtedly the best storyteller in the history of Hip Hop.

From stories about his hectic lifestyle just “six minutes” before stage time to his almost unbelievable sexcapades, Rick The Ruler set the bar for rappers to tell their tall tales with style and cadence.

In honor of his born day, TheSource.com has compiled a list of the top five storyline rhymes from his album arsenal.

“La Di Da Di”

“Stepped out the house, stopped short..Oh No! I went back in, I forgot my Kangol..”

“A Children’s Story”

“He ran down the street, there he saw the sister/ shot for his head, he shot back, buit he missed her..”

“Mona Lisa”

“Callin’ me a thief? Please! Don’t even try it! Sit down, eat your slice of pizza and be quiet..”

“The Show”

“I was all alone, no one to be with/ stepped off the D Train at 205th..I saw a pretty girl..”

“Treat Her Like A Prostitute”

“‘Cause all they do is to hurt and trample/ Listen up close here comes my last example..”

The post Happy 56th Birthday Slick Rick! Five Favorite Storytime Rhymes From Rick The Ruler appeared first on The Source.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: The L.O.X. Dropped Their Debut Album ‘Money, Power & Respect’ 24 Years Ago

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On this date in 1998, Sheek Louch, Styles P., and Jadakiss, who are better known as the rap trio The L.O.X. (Living Off Experience), dropped their debut album on then-Puff Daddy’s steadily growing Bad Boy label. Following in the footsteps of artists like Craig Mack and Notorious B.I.G., the Yonkers collective had to go the extra length to prove themselves worthy to carry the Bad Boy legacy and that they have done and continue to do.

With production on this project from the likes of Swizz Beatz, D. Dot, Dame Grease, and Mr. Combs himself, there was very little chance that this project flop. Even with the shiny suits, the lyrical content and dexterity were on point from all three members, solidifying their slots as lyrical legends in their own rights coming into the new millennium. Tracks like “If You Think I’m Jiggy” and the album’s epic title track were both perfect fusions of street anthems with crossover appeal, which allowed the LOX a fanbase on both sides of the mainstream “boundary”.

Thanks to Diddy, D-Block, and the entire Bad Boy staff who helped to put together this timeless classic!

The post Today in Hip-Hop History: The L.O.X. Dropped Their Debut Album ‘Money, Power & Respect’ 24 Years Ago appeared first on The Source.

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